Wednesday, May 10, 2017

No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien

Back in 2016, we blogged (V1) & (V2) about some of the poets, mostly British, who wrote about, served in, and made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I. This month we are featuring more poets and authors who participated in WWI, including several Americans.  This is to highlight the new novel out by Simon Tolkien called No Man’s Land.  It is based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s experiences during the war, and he just happens to be the author's grandfather.  So, check out No Man’s Land and some of the works by these other great authors as well.

Richard Aldington (1892–1962) was an English writer and poet.  He was known best for his WWI poetry and the 1929 novel, Death of a Hero.  Aldington joined the British Army and was wounded on the Western Front. 

*Edmund Charles Blunden (1896–1974) was an English poet, author and critic. He wrote of his experiences in WWI in both verse and prose. He ended his career as Professor of Poetry at Oxford. He was nominated for the Nobel in Literature six times.

*Mary Borden (1886–1968) was an Anglo-American novelist and poet.  At the outbreak of WW1, she used her own money to run a French field hospital and served as a nurse. Her war poems were published in 2016 in: Poems of Love and War.

Louis Bromfield (1896–1956) was an American author and conservationist, born in Mansfield, OH.  He joined the Ambulance Corps in WWI and was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor. He won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for Early Autumn.

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) was an American poet. In 1917, he enlisted in the Ambulance Corps.  Later, he was held for 3½ months in military detention on suspicion of espionage. Cummings used this experience for his novel, The Enormous Room

John Roderigo Dos Passos (1896–1970) was an American novelist. He was a member of the Ambulance Corps in Paris and in Italy, and later the Army Medical Corps. He published One Man's Initiation: 1917, followed by an antiwar story, “Three Soldiers”.

Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939) was an English novelist and poet.  In 1915, he joined the Army and was severely wounded by an exploding shell. He published war poetry and later wrote Parade’s End which is considered one of the greatest works of WWI literature.

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was an American author.  In WWI, he was an ambulance driver in Italy.  In 1918, he sustained severe wounds and received the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery. His experiences helped form his novel A Farewell to Arms.

*Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918) was an American journalist and writer, mainly remembered for his poem "Trees".  His "Rouge Bouquet" commemorated the deaths of 24 members of his regiment. He was killed by a sniper at the Second Battle of the Marne.

Thomas Edward Lawrence ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1888-1935) was a British diplomat and writer.  In the Army, he was sent to Arabia on a mission, where he played a key role in inciting the Arabs to revolt. Two months after leaving service, he was fatally injured in an accident. His major work is Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an account of his war experiences.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was a British writer, academic, and Christian Apologist.  Joining the Army, he was wounded in France by shrapnel. WWI was a huge influence on his writings.  He is best known for The Chronicles of Narnia.

Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982) was an American author, poet and Librarian of Congress. He was an Army ambulance driver and artillery captain during WWI. He expressed his disillusion with war in his poem” Memorial Rain”, published in 1926.

Frederic Manning (1882–1935) was an Australian poet and novelist.  In 1915 he experienced action at the Battle of the Somme. In 1929 he published The Middle Parts of Fortune which has been described as the greatest novel of war ever written.

William Somerset Maugham (18741965) was a British writer. During WWI, he served with the ambulance corps, before being recruited into the Intelligence Service.  He used his spying experiences as the basis for Ashenden: Or the British Agent.

Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) was a German novelist who created many works about the terror of war. His best known is All Quiet on the Western Front.  During WWI, he volunteered for the Army and was wounded five times. Later, the Nazis burned his works, called him a traitor and murdered his sister.

*Alan Seeger (1888-1916) was an American poet.  He joined the French Foreign Legion and was killed at the Battle of the Somme, cheering on his fellow soldiers after being hit several times. The uncle of Pete Seeger, he is best known for the poem, “I Have a Rendezvous with Death”, a favorite of President John F. Kennedy.

*Robert William Service (1874–1958) was a British-Canadian poet and writer.  When WWI broke out; he worked as a stretcher bearer and ambulance driver. He wrote Rhymes of a Red Cross Man and dedicated it to his brother, who was killed in France.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was an English poet and writer who fought in the trenches during WWI.  He came down with trench fever and he spent the remainder of the war deemed medically unfit for service.  His war experiences influence his works. He is best known for The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

**Amos Niven Wilder (1895–1993) was an American poet, minister, and professor.  He volunteered in the Ambulance Corps and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. “Battle Retrospect” was a volume he wrote about WWI. His brother was Thornton Wilder.

*John Allan Wyeth (1894–1981) was an American poet.  He joined the Expeditionary Forces as a translator in 1917. His collection, “This Man’s Army”, was re-published in 2008 as part of Matthew Bruccoli's Great War Series of lost literary classics of WWI.

*= available through Search Ohio

**= available through OhioLink

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